The Best of Me: Review

The Best Of Me

I always go into Nicholas Sparks book adaptations ready to roll my eyes and hate how corny and cheesy it is. This was no exception and I think that is because Sparks’ books are essentially the same and he is a producer on the movie adaptations so it has to stay very faithful to it. However, there are some redeeming qualities.

James Marsden is Dawson Cole who returns to his hometown after he gets word about his friend’s death. When he turns up at the old man’s house, he meets Amanda (Michelle Monaghan), his high school sweetheart who he has not seen in 20 years. There is a lot of history between them and as they spend the days sorting through their friend’s home, we see flashbacks of their relationship (Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato as the young counterparts) and how it was torn apart by Cole’s dangerous family and the consequences of him disapproving of them.

At first, I thought it was going to be a very simplistic love story that looks back on the past with a ‘will they, won’t they’ type vibe but there is way more to it than that, but it is all similar to what we’ve seen before. For example, the scary family could be substituted for the psycho boyfriend from Safe Haven. The aspect that I really enjoyed was Dawson’s relationship with Tuck, a man who finds him sleeping in his garage and takes him in. Their father-son style bond was incredibly touching and it was those moments that brought me to tears.

Film Title: The Best Of Me

I was very cynical in the start and didn’t want to be pulled in by it but you just can’t help it. However, towards the end, I felt the plot was too contrived and was trying desperately hard to make everyone bawl their eyes out. It was too soap opera and I saw the twist coming miles off and I thought ‘if they do that, I’ll be so pissed off’ and that is what happened and I lost all respect for the film because it was just so ridiculous.

The dialogue erred on the cheesy side and the plot was obvious the entire way (except for Dawson’s run-ins with the family). I especially enjoyed the younger scenes because Liana Liberato was adorable and I thought she was fantastic. Although Bracey was good, I didn’t think he looked like a school student nor did he look anything like James Marsden and that visual block hindered his performance for me. I didn’t love the scenes between Marsden and Monaghan because they were too predictable. I did love Monaghan once she returns to her husband and realises she is stuck in a loveless marriage – that really got to me.

I did not want to like it because it is cheesy and predictable but I get sucked in as always and ended up with tears in my eyes a number of times. I think it was mainly down to Liberato and Dawson’s bond with Tuck. The ending was just too ridiculous and I could no longer take it seriously but those who love a soppy romance will eat this up.

Released today

SEE ALSO: James Marsden talking about the movie at the Apple Store


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